Society for Disability Studies – June 18, 2011
Two CUIDO members were invited to deliver the Saturday keynote address at the annual conference of the Society for Disability Studies (SDS) in San Jose, which afforded us the opportunity to describe Arnieville, to talk about the work of CUIDO, and to inspire hundreds of academics to integrate, in their own lives, the worlds of disability scholarship and disability activism for social change.
In true CUIDO spirit, prior to the presentation, we pitched an Arnieville tent on the speakers’ platform and rigged up our beautiful Arnieville banner, bearing a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. (“A nation that spends more on its military than on social uplift approaches spiritual death”), as well as another banner proclaiming “OUR HOMES, NOT NURSING HOMES!” Our re-creation also included sound effects: honking car horns! When the plenary was due to begin, we marched into the ballroom singing “We will, we will, occupy! We will, we will, multiply!” to the tune of Queen’s “We will, we will, rock you!” We chanted “Disabled united will never be defeated!” and of course, “Our homes, not nursing homes!” At first they—the non-CUIDO academic scholars in the audience—sat and stared at us, nonplussed, grinning a little shyly, but as we beckoned (between chants) for them to join us, they began, one by one, to scramble to their feet, or wheels, and insert themselves into our lengthening line of marchers, beaming and flinging themselves into the chants with gusto. Then the audience members took their seats, and we began our presentation.
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